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Cooking definitions and terms beginning with


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Bisque - a thick, creamy soup usually of shellfish, but sometimes made of puréed vegetables.

Bite-Size - to cut into pieces which would easily fit into the mouth, approximately 1/2 inch.

Bitters - an aromatic liquid used to flavor cocktails, soft drinks, as well as soups and sweet dishes, such as ice cream.

Black Bean - a relatively large, dried bean with black skin, cream-colored flesh and a sweet flavor; also called a turtle bean.

Black Butter - butter, melted, clarified, and cooked until it is nut brown.

Black-Eyed Pea - the seed of a member of the pea family native to China; small and beige with a black circular eye on the curved edge and used in Southern U.S. and Chinese cuisines; also known as a cowpea (it was first planted in the United States as fodder).

Blackberry - a large shiny berry with a deep purple, almost black color and a sweet flavor; also known as a bramble berry.

Blanch - to immerse food briefly into boiling water, then plunge into cold water. The process firms flesh, heightens and sets color and flavor and loosens skin as in tomatoes intended for peeling.

Blancmange - a sweet pudding made with milk and cornstarch flavored with almonds, vanilla, rum, or brandy.

Blend - to mix two or more ingredients together thoroughly with a spoon, beater or blender.

Blind baking (also called bake blind) - A term for baking a pastry shell (pie crust) before it is filled. There are two methods used. 1. The unbaked shell is first pricked all over with a fork to prevent it from blistering and rising and then baked. 2. The unbaked shell is lined with foil or parchment paper, then filled with dried beans or rice, clean pebbles (a French practice) or specialty pie weights made of metal or ceramic. The weights and foil or parchment paper should be removed a few minutes before the baking time is over to allow the crust to brown evenly.

Blini - Russian buckwheat pancakes served with a variety of spreads, notably, sour cream and caviar.

Blintz - a cooked crepe stuffed with cheese or other filling.

Blueberry - a small berry native to North America; has a smooth skin, blue to blue-black color, juicy light gray-blue flesh and a sweet flavor; eaten raw, used in baked goods or made into jams and jellies.

Body - describes a characteristic of wines. A “full bodied” wine is rich without bitterness, when it is a good one.

Boil - to cook in a liquid which has reached a temperature of 212*F (100*C), or where bubbles are rising continually and are breaking the surface.

Boiling-Water-Bath Canning Method - used for processing acid foods, such as fruit, tomatoes, pickled vegetables, and sauerkraut. These acid foods are canned safely at boiling temperatures in a water-bath canner.

Bok Choy - a member of the cabbage family native to Southern China; has long wide, white crunchy stalks with tender, smooth-edged, dark green leaves; used raw, pickled or cooked; also know as baak choy, Chinese mustard, pak choi and white mustard cabbage.

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